Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a member of the United States Power Squadron?

Active membership in USPS is open to those 18 years and over who have passed the USPS Boating Course or Boat Smart examination (or equivalent), and who are able and willing to contribute time, energy, and skills to the objectives of USPS. To join the Saginaw Bay Sail and Power Squadron, check our online information on how to join contact [contact info] or email us for membership information.  For information regarding squadrons in other areas, call toll free 1-888-FOR-USPS (1-888-367-8777).

Can sailors become members?

Of course. More than 40% of our members are sailors. The term "Power Squadrons" dates to the USPS founding in 1914 by the power boat division of the Boston Yacht Club. Following the first World War, our ranks broadened to include all types of boats, and sailors have been a major part of USPS ever since.

Is USPS a part of or supported by the U.S. Government?

No. While the USPS has many joint programs with the United States Coast Guard, the CG Auxiliary, and the National Ocean Services division of NOAA, USPS is a private, totally self-supporting organization.

What if you're already a member of the Canadian Power Squadron or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary?

If you already belong to either of these organizations you do not have to pass a USPS course to become a member because you have already completed a qualifying course.

How do you enroll in a USPS boating course?

Every USPS squadron teaches at least one or two such courses every year. Some squadrons teach many more. The courses usually begin in September or October, then again in January or February. Some squadrons offer courses during the summer. The courses are publicized in local newspapers, on posters, at marinas, and at various other locations. The easiest way to determine when the next course will be offered in your area is check our online schedule or contact the Saginaw Bay Sail and Power Squadron Education Officer at [phone or email]

What about the person who cannot take an evening Boating Course?

America's Boating Course (ABC) is a joint effort between the United States Power Squadrons and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. It is available as an internet home study course for individuals who cannot attend traditional class room courses. A CD and a manual are provided as part of the course.

For your convenience, the Fort Lauderdale Power Squadron Schedules ABC classes on Saturdays for those students unable to attend evening sessions.

USPS has both On-line and a Home study Boating Courses which can be taken at your own leisure. For information call 1-888-FOR USPS (1-888-367-8777). Call today. Safe Boating is more fun

What's in it for me?

A great variety of courses to choose from: As a USPS member, you and your family can enroll in a great variety of advanced grades and elective courses which are only available to USPS members. These courses include Seamanship, Piloting, Celestial Navigation, Weather, Sail, Engine Maintenance, Marine Electronics and Cruise Planning. In addition, USPS offers more than two dozen self study courses on such subjects as the Water Sports, Boat Insurance, Oceanography, Introduction to Sailing, Preparation for Coast Guard Licensing, and much more.

Meeting with other boaters in the Saginaw Bay area: As a member of the Saginaw Bay Sail and Power Squadron you will join with other knowledgeable boaters in your area who are familiar with the local waters, the best anchorages, and marinas and boat repair shops.

Participation in a variety of on water activities: As a USPS member you're automatically invited to join in the squadron and district cruises, rendezvous, predicted log contests, raft-ups and other on-water activities.

Savings on Boat Insurance: There are many marine insurance companies which provide discounts to those who complete advanced boating courses. This savings can be significant.

USPS Networking with other members throughout the USA, Canada and even more distant areas: Thinking of boating in a river, lake or ocean far from your home? USPS has a Port Captain program which will provide names and telephone numbers of local USPS members who know the territory.

You'll also receive the official USPS magazine THE ENSIGN.